TUSC lobby the Welsh assembly in 2015, Socialist party Wales

TUSC lobby the Welsh assembly in 2015, Socialist party Wales   (Click to enlarge: opens in new window)

Dave Warren, TUSC Co-ordinator for South Wales West

A well-attended and enthusiastic meeting to relaunch the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) in Wales took place via Zoom on the evening of 30 November.

Former Labour MP Dave Nellist outlined the case for TUSC. After a decade of austerity, the Tories intend to make workers pay for the Covid crisis, and Labour is complicit in their plans. He posed the question: “What would have happened if the 30 Campaign Group Labour MPs had resigned the Labour whip after Corbyn’s suspension and formed an explicitly socialist group in parliament?” That could have been the catalyst for the growth of a new workers’ party. There remains a vacuum of working-class political representation.

Mark Evans from the local government group executive of Unison, speaking in a personal capacity, said: “The public sector pay freeze is the writing on the wall in terms of the intentions of the Tory government to make workers pay. But in Wales we have been paying for years due to the failure of the Welsh Labour government to mount any serious opposition or to provide an alternative.”

Black Lives Matter (BLM) activist Cammilla Mngaza said she had seen how socialists had shown solidarity at every BLM protest. She said we need a socialist voice for all the working class to unite us not divide us. Charlie Wells from Socialist Students spoke of the exploitation of young people and demanded decent jobs with a minimum wage of at least £12 per hour and an end to tuition fees.

There was no disagreement on the need for TUSC to mount a challenge in the elections for the Senedd (Welsh Parliament) in May next year. The Welsh Government has acted in the same way as Labour councils throughout Britain, meekly passing on the Tory cuts. At the same time, Labour and Plaid Cymru controlled councils have implemented cuts, with Labour councils blaming the Tories, and Plaid Cymru blaming the Welsh Labour government.

The meeting agreed to set up a steering committee for TUSC in Wales to set out and implement a campaign plan for the Senedd elections. The meeting ended with an appeal for potential candidates and steering committee members to come forward.

BLM campaigner Andrew Ogun summed up the mood of the meeting when he said that “in a society where the question of whether children should have free school meals or go hungry actually needs to be debated, no-one can afford to be apolitical anymore.”